The physical/mental health of student-athletes is important but sometimes it becomes too much. They can overcome it with help and resources available to them. Graphic by Elissa Aguayo.
Student athletes have a great deal of responsibilities that may lead to bad performances in their preferred sport.
It is important to stay both mentally and physically healthy, so they can perform at their best.
A couple responsibilities student athletes deal with on a regular basis are: school, homework, work, practice, games and social life. Balancing these activities can be hard, but not too hard to overcome.
Dixie State University offers services to help student athletes overcome the anxiety and stress that coexists from a busy schedule.
Dr. Ron Chamberlain, director of counseling and sports psychology, works for Intermountain Health Care, but is contracted with DSU to provide student athletes the help they need with various sports psychology services.
Chamberlain attends DSU sports teams preseason and postseason meetings to allow student athletes to be aware of the resources they have. Chamberlain said about one-third of student athletes come to his office to talk about the stress that practice and games endure, in hopes to get a new sight on how to perform at their best.
Chamberlain is available to help athletes with mental skills, training and performance. He informs them on ways they can be more confident, less anxious and find more enjoyment in their sport.
DSU women’s track and field athlete, Sadie Edwards, a freshman general studies major from Provo, said race anxiety can get pretty dreadful. Edwards was able to use the resources available to work on this.
Edwards said, “I recently talked to our sports psychologist Dr. Ron Chamberlain who walked me through breathing exercises to get through it.”
Dr. Chamberlain is also a licensed psychologist that is able to give regular psychology service to those student athletes who are struggling with other stresses that might be stunting them from doing their best. This is where the other two-thirds of athletes come in.
Athletes schedule an appointment to get help with managing all other activities outside of practices and games. They come in to get help on ways to keep up with their school schedule, homework and maintain a healthy social life.
Dr. Chamberlain said, “two-thirds of my visits are more of a mental health or personal problem focus.”
Along with being mentally healthy, being physically healthy is an important factor the student athletes can focus on.
Mikayla Frei, DSU athletic trainer, works with athletes to keep their body active and healthy.
“One of the biggest stressors for student athletes right now is time management, which can start to add up and affect their physical health if they are spreading themselves to thin,” Frei said.
A healthy sleep schedule can improve their performance, although often athletes cannot find the balance in their schedule. Sleep is sacrificed because athletes do not see it as a top priority compared to the other responsibilities they have.
“The majority of my athletes do not get enough sleep, and hope for at least 6 hours a night,” Frei said.
Student athletes have extremely full schedules, but the resources available through DSU are proven to help athletes perform at their best and work through their mental and physical stressors.